Posted by Steven Sawyer on 5/17/2020

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Most everyone would love to gain some extra room, especially those in small homes with limited space options. Here are three home interior DIY projects to help you maximize your space.

1. Transform a Closet into Workspace

If you’re lacking the room for a home office, transform one of your closets into a mini-office. This is a relatively easy and inexpensive way to give yourself a dedicated workspace.

  • Remove the door and hinges.
  • Empty the closet and give it a good wipe down.
  • Disassemble hanging rods.
  • Touch up or repaint the closet’s interior.
  • Add two to three shelves—a deep one to serve as your desktop and additional ones for storage.

If you prefer a traditional desk and your closet is wide enough, slide one in and eliminate the need for a deep shelf.

2. Mount Your TV

Modern styles are all about minimalism and entertainment centers don’t exactly fit this look. Besides, media consoles take up a ton of floor space. An easy way to reclaim this useful space is to mount your TV to the wall or above a fireplace.

  • Choose a mount for your TV—this will be a tilting mount, low-profile mount or full-motion mount.
  • Select a location and determine the best viewing height—be sure you have sufficient outlets and access to cable connections you need.
  • Cut out a piece of TV-sized cardboard or poster board and tape it to the wall to get a “visual” of your TV’s position.
  • Locate a stud and mark it. (If mounting to a fireplace use masonry anchors.)
  • Before you drill, use a level to ensure the wall mount is even.
  • Drill holes, attach your mount and secure it so it doesn’t collapse.
  • Add a cord cover to hide unsightly wiring.

Media consoles were useful before flat-screen TVs became the norm, but most people today can easily get by with a wall-mount and a shelf to hold cable boxes, media players or game consoles. If you need additional storage, add a small table with cabinet space.

3. Build Window Seats

Adding window seats to any room eliminates the need for extra seating on the floor, gives a cozy look and offers additional storage space.

  • Buy two wall cabinets about 30 inches wide by 15 inches high. You can purchase new or, to scale back costs, check secondhand stores, such as Habitat for Humanity’s Restore, for used cabinetry.
  • Use plywood (2x4 or 2x6) to serve as a perimeter base, nailing these pieces of wood into the floor to create a toekick. Be sure your outline’s depth is large enough to hold your cabinets, and leave a little extra room to pull your cabinets away a few inches from the wall beneath the window to save space for your seat.
  • Place cabinets on top of the toekick and clamp the two cabinets together. Be sure your screws are strong enough to hold the units together.
  • Clamp and screw cabinets to the toekick.
  • Place hardwood plywood on top of the cabinets to widen your seating area. (Sand and paint, if necessary.)
  • Add cushions and pillows.

Tip: Be sure to avoid positioning your seat over an HVAC vent or baseboard because you don’t block out your heat or A/C.

If you’re working with some tight spaces, you can better utilize it by transforming your existing space.




Categories: DIY  


Posted by Steven Sawyer on 12/15/2019

Photo by Rudy and Peter Skitterians via Pixabay

When you’re prepping your home to sell, your “to do” list can get quite long, quite quickly. Which projects do you really need to tackle before listing, and which are best left undone? Talking to your real estate agent is a good first step, but this guide will also give you the lowdown on what to do, and what to ignore.

Fix Windows and Doors

People do notice if doors aren’t opening properly or windows look a little drafty, and it can be enough to turn them away from the property. These issues are also highly visible. If you ignore them, they can make buyers wonder what other maintenance you’ve put off.

Paint the Walls

A fresh coat of neutral paint does much to freshen and clean the look of your home. It helps buyers picture themselves in the property, and doesn’t cost a lot to do. While painting, repair any drywall problems you see to give the home a ready-to-move-in look.

Electrical Panel Repairs

Your electrical panel and circuit breakers need to meet current building codes. Electrical problems will show up on inspection and can delay the sale of your home, so you might as well fix them before listing instead of after. If you have an older home, call an electrician to see if you need any updates.

Fix Damaged Flooring

Floors in poor condition are a major turn-off to buyers. Install new flooring, even if it’s a cheap type, and your home will look much more inviting. If you are lucky enough to have hardwoods, have them refinished so the home will shine.

Address Water Stains

Water stains are a huge red flag, because buyers will assume you have a water problem or mold is hiding behind the stains. Even if you addressed the water problem successfully, be sure to clear the stains, too.

Skip These Repairs

You may have heard that remodeling the kitchen or bath is an important thing to do before selling, but it is less important than you might think. Research has found that the return on a bathroom remodel in an average home is only 67.2 percent. Kitchens return only 62.1 percent. Make your kitchen and bath look as good as you can, repair anything that is actually broken, but don’t tackle a major remodel.

Another project to skip is adding a sunroom. Sunrooms are difficult to maintain, and many buyers don’t want one.

Prepping your home to sell takes time, effort, and thought. With these tips, you can spend that energy where it will make the most difference, and skip those tasks that will take up too much money or have minimal impact on your home’s value.




Categories: Home improvement  


Posted by Steven Sawyer on 11/24/2019

What homeowner doesn’t want to maximize overall home value when the time comes to sell? In order to sell your house faster and for more money, it's important to have a firm understanding of the specific housing features that matter the most to prospective buyers.

Well-Established Property Value Boosters

If you’ve ever considered home renovations, you’ve probably heard that the biggest boons to overall resale value are updated bathrooms and kitchens. In order to set your house apart, however, you may want to go the extra distance in these rooms to make them truly special. A bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub or a walk-in closet, for example, may just make the final difference in the mind of a buyer who would otherwise remain on the fence bout a prospective purchase.

Other Buyer-Attracting Home Features

To borrow a word from HGTV.com, people are often looking for homes with an extra bit of “pizzazz” when it comes to making that final purchase agreement. This can mean the presence of existing architectural flourishes and unusual floor plans or more practical amenities such as ample garage storage space and a separate laundry room.

Here are just a few features that will make your home shine during your future open house:

The Backyard Patio

According to the independent financial authority Kiplinger, 87 percent of buyers are looking for a concrete patio surrounded by an attractive backyard.

The Playroom

Although this feature will be of value only to families with young children, the presence of a good playroom is often the deciding factor for prospective homebuyers.

Green Features

Whether you’re talking about solar panels, a highly efficient HVAC system, or double-paned Energy Star-qualified windows, homebuyers are increasingly looking for green building features to control their utility bills and help save the environment.

Ceiling Fans

Home improvements don’t have to be extensive or expensive to be effective. Kiplinger reports that 85 percent of prospective homebuyers are looking for one or more ceiling fans in their new home. Even with a full lighting kit and a remote control unit, a newly installed ceiling fan should set you back less than $500 in total.

Let Your Specific Goals and Restrictions Guide Your Way 

Before considering renovations to boost the value of your home, ask yourself exactly what you hope to gain from those renovations and exactly how much those renovations will cost. Depending on your budget and your level of ambition, you may opt for popular, value-boosting features that range from the installation/restoration of hardwood floors to the addition/improvement of exterior lighting fixtures.





Posted by Steven Sawyer on 6/2/2019

Changing your furnace air filter at the right time is vital when it comes to the quality of your indoor air. However, choosing the right furnace filter might be confusing because there are lots of options in the market. Therefore, consider the factors below before you purchase a furnace air filter.

Consider the type of HVAC unit 

The first step towards getting the right furnace air filter is that you need to know the kind of your HVAC unit. You should note that high-efficiency HVAC unit that is modern will require an air filter size that is different from that of the older ones. Before shopping for a new air filter, note the model number as well as the size of the old one. 

Take note of the medical requirement and specific allergy

You may need an air filter with a higher level of filtration if you or your family members suffer from asthma or allergies. So, look for an air filter that posses this level of superior performance to safeguard your health and that of your family.

Consider the climate 

Mold and mildew problems are common in humid weather. When you live in an area that is hot or cold, you are likely to run your HVAC unit more than those in a temperate region, and there will be a need to replace your air filter regularly. All these factors should influence your choice when picking the right air filter. 

Local air condition 

The quality of outdoor air is essential when choosing an air filter. It has a significant impact on the efficiency rating requirement of your furnace air filter. Those living in a heavily polluted area or those that do not live close to a city where the air is fresh and less polluted need to consider this factor. These categories of people must make think about the quality of their indoor air when next they are replacing their air filter.

Presence of pets

Pets are friendly and a source of joy to many, but they can contaminate the air in the home with hair and pet dander. If you have pets at home, look for air filters that are ideal for homes having pets.

Once you consider the following factors, it will be straightforward to choose the right air filter from the overwhelming options available. By so doing, you are making sure that you and your family members are safe from any cough, asthma, allergies and any other health issues that an old or incorrect air filter can cause.





Posted by Steven Sawyer on 2/10/2019

Doing a home improvement or renovation is a great way to add value to your home while learning something new. If you decide to DIY, you can enlist the help of your family and learn together.

But, when you’re taking on a task you’ve never done before, there’s a lot that can go wrong. You might go over budget, or the project might take significantly longer than expected. Sometimes we start jobs that we don’t have the expertise (or permits) to finish and have to call in a professional sinking more time and money into what was supposed to be an inexpensive renovation.

To help you avoid some of these common pitfalls, we’ve provided these tips for running a successful home improvement project so you can focus on your renovation and not on the headaches that come with it.

1. Know when to call the experts

Undertaking a do-it-yourself project can be fun and rewarding. However, some tasks are better left to the professionals. Plumbing and electrical mistakes, in particular, can be dangerous and costly if you get it wrong. You don’t want to disregard the safety of you, your family, and your belongings just to save money on hiring a professional.

2. Call the best expert for the job

Call multiple professionals for a quote before accepting an offer.

If you received what seems a very low quote for a job, make sure to call other experts in the industry to see how much they would charge for the job. Getting an unusually low offer could be a sign that the contractor will rush the project or use cheap materials.

Alternatively, if you receive a quote that seems too high, the contractor may have a busy schedule or might not really want the job, so they’ve offered you a price they don’t expect you to take.

Regardless of who you choose, see if you can find reviews and testimonials to make sure you’ve selected a contractor who is professional and has good customer feedback.

3. Aim high with your budget

When homeowners take on a renovation, they tend to underestimate the costs. To avoid being shocked by going over budget, estimate what you think the total costs would be and then at another twenty percent. That twenty percent could account for damaged building materials, mistakes, or last-minute changes and customizations--all are frequent on DIY projects.

4. Don’t work without a design or blueprint

Even for simple home improvement projects, it’s best to start out with a plan. Having detailed measurements and drawings to refer to will help you avoid costly mistakes. We’ve all felt the temptation to “eyeball it” when working on a project--taking the extra few minutes to measure and refer to your plan will save you time in the long run.

5. Relax and focus on the results

Home improvement projects can be a source of frustration for many families. If you aren’t an expert, it’s easy to get angry when things aren’t going as you planned. If you find yourself frequently hitting a wall-literally or figuratively--step back from the project and refocus on the end goal, improving your home for years to come.




Categories: Home improvement   renovation   DIY